Location: Nottingham, UK
Profession: QA Tester
A portrait of the seminal 90s videogame character Samus Aran after her romp on Brinstar.
Yes, I know the game *actually* came out on the NES in the 80’s, but I prefer the Super Metroid remake.
A dark background and localised light source pushes the feeling of her being in a safe little bubble after risking everything to take down Mother Brain.
I’ve always admired the old masters like Rembrandt or Caravaggio for their expert use of mood lighting, shadow and form. Chiaroscuro, they call it. It’s something I play with
in my own images, although I’m still a long way off that standard.
A good way to start is to figure out what colour your shadows and background should be, and what colour your light source is. I went with purple undertones and worked my way up
the levels with a cool blue light. Figured if I wanted sci fi I’d have to push something other than the blue/orange combo so often seen.
I usually sketch out a drawing first, refine the lines and then paint underneath it on a different layer, after which I’ll switch to painting over the top and slowly work over
the lines. As you get into the finer and finer detail the linework will naturally get covered up. I left the layer on though as it still defined some of the looser areas well.
Krita was used, which is an excellent open source painting tool. The brush engine is the most advanced and customisable tool I’ve ever seen in a program, beating out photoshop
by a hair. Their other tools such as typography and filters are lacking in features and performance, but it’s the best free program you’ll find for digital painting. All in all
this one probably took me between 6 and 8 hours.